The second report by the Economist Intelligence Unit, based on the survey of 280 top managers of international companies, shows sustainability will play a pivotal role in economic growth and is becoming a central pillar of corporate strategies in emerging markets.
Madrid, February 15th, 2011 Companies view sustainability playing a central role in their long-term strategy and are becoming acutely aware how implementation of good practice in environmental, social and governance (ESG) areas can favour the prospects of a business as much as sound financial management. This is why businesses in emerging countries are making sustainability a central part of their strategies and see it as an opportunity to strengthen relations with customers and investors in developed economies.
The conclusions of the report by the Economist Intelligence Unit, "The sustainable future: promoting growth through sustainability", were presented today in Madrid at Endesa headquarters during the second Sustainability Day, an event dedicated to Corporate Social Responsibility organized by the Enel Group, where international experts, managers of ethical funds, representatives of communities and international institutions met to discuss new global strategies for sustainable growth. The survey, sponsored by Enel, was conducted through interviews with more than 280 top managers of international companies in Asia, Western Europe and North America.
Fulvio Conti, CEO of the Enel Group, commented: The adoption and promotion of globally-shared ethical and social values is the duty of all companies in the world changing at an ever more rapid pace. Integration of business and sustainability is of paramount importance for the creation of new values that increase trust and accountability of the companies. Achieving a sustainable competitiveness is possible not only with a growth strategy based on financial stability and profitability, but also with the involvement of different social actors and following a defined and shared policy of environmental resource management. Especially in a world where two-thirds of the population live below adequate standards, utilities have the responsibility of providing abundant, affordable and environmentally friendly energy for tomorrow.
Sustainability Day is an opportunity for promoting a culture of responsibility, leading to a new way of thinking about corporate sustainability at a global level. The event was chaired by Professor Mervyn King, Chairman of the Global Reporting Initiative and a member of the private-sector World Bank advisory group on corporate governance.
After the addresses of Fulvio Conti, Borja Prado, Chairman of Endesa, and Ramon Jauregui, the Spanish Minister to the Presidency, a panel discussed how to rethink business strategies to enhance growth. Andrea Brentan, CEO of Endesa, Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of UNFCCC, Enrico Giovannini, a member of the Stiglitz Commission and President of Istat, Teresa Ribera, Spanish Secretary of State for Climate Change, Deepa Gupta, co-founder and director of the India Youth Climate Network, Emma Howard Boyd, director of Jupiter Asset Management, Eduardo Montes, President of UNESA and Aldo Olcese, Chairman of the Business and Finance Section of Spains Royal Academy of Economics and Finance, participated in the panel.
In January 2011, Enel and its subsidiary Endesa were selected to join the Global Compact LEAD, an initiative started by the United Nations Global Compact, which brings together 54 leading companies from around the world that serve as points of reference for developing a global model for economic, social and environmental sustainability. In addition, for the seventh year in a row, Enel has been admitted to the Dow Jones Sustainability STOXX Index, a leading market index that tracks the performance of leading companies throughout the world based on strict sustainability criteria.
On the occasion of the Sustainability Day, an issue of Oxygen, Enel's magazine promoting scientific debate, fully dedicated to Corporate Social Responsibility, has been published. Oxygen will be available, for the first time, on iPad in both Italian and English. Enel has created a special site for the event (www.enelsustainabilityday.com) where works have been followed in real time and where you can find the survey conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit, interviews with participants, the Oxygen issue as well as an interactive map of the venue. Updates on the panels works are available on Twitter, Enelsharing (http://twitter.com/enelsharing).
Outside the Auditorium an exhibit of the most significant sustainability projects run by Enel and Endesa has been set up, from the Code of Ethics to investments in Research and Innovation, from examples of talks with local stakeholders to environmental conservation and Corporate Governance.
Enel also decided to neutralize the CO2 emissions produced in organizing and holding of the event (for a total of 58 metric tons) by planting 420 trees in the Mbam Kim deforested area in Cameroon.